(AllHipHop Features) Maybach Music Group artist Gunplay has had his ups and downs throughout his life and music career, but as the Carol City, Florida rapper crosses his 35th birthday he is attempting to shed the troubles of his past for a new life direction.
Gunplay the rapper has been presenting his brand of Southern Hip Hop through numerous mixtapes, compilation albums, and guest appearances over the last decade. Richard Morales, Jr. the citizen has been facing juvenile detention centers, judges, and jail cells for most of his life.
In the recent documentary The Field: Miami, it appeared Gunplay and Richard finally came together and made the decision that both could get more out of life through making music rather than criminal activity. The longtime Rick Ross associate expresses his new focus on releasing his studio album Living Legend and breeding the next crop of young talent via his BilderBurg Group imprint.
AllHipHop.com spoke with Gunplay to discuss his appearance in WSHH’s The Field: Miami, his upcoming projects, and his choice to throw a verbal shot at rival 50 Cent on a recent track.
During your scene in The Field you talked about how you weren’t really passionate about rapping at one point, but in recent months you've dropped a lot of music. What has sparked that recent drive to release so many songs?
I got an album coming out real soon - Living Legend. I’m just getting back into the swing of things, so I can put out a successful project. I’m just letting them see what’s to come. I’m trying to get back in the lab. I’m shooting these videos. I’m doing these interviews. Just getting back relevant, letting them know I ain’t going nowhere.
Do you have an idea when the Living Legend album may drop?
Next year. First or second quarter before Rozay’s new album.
So Ross is working on another album too?
Yeah. I’m gonna be dropping before his.
Going back to the movie. You also talked about how you felt blessed in life. You’ve dealt with some serious issues publicly. How were you able to overcome those troubles before they halted your blessings?
I’m just staying focused and prayed up. I just kept my eyes on the prize. I deal with my everyday issues, real life issues, legal issues as well. I just don’t let that stop me. I have a lot to offer the game as an entertainer, as an artist. I believe I can definitely make my mark. I’m just trying to stay focused. That’s my biggest thing.
A lot of times fans are really tough on artists. Is it hard trying to create art at the same time as dealing with all these personal issues happening in the public and you’re getting criticized for it?
Nah, the people that’s talking s**t is mostly on social media. They’ve got past due balances. They’re broke as hell. I wake up. I drive a CL63 two-door Benz. I live good. I f**k bad b***hes. I get money without an album.
They wake up - phone bill due. They got extensions on their bill. They’re about 2-3 days from getting evicted. I don’t let those people bother me, because when I come out here in these streets it’s a whole different story.
I hear none of that bulls**t from social media. I hear, “Boy, you’re the realest n***a living. Keep up the good work. I love you Gunplay.” The b***hes say, “I wanna suck your d**k Gunplay. Please can I have one night with you? You’re so sexy.”
I hear none of that f**king bulls**t they be saying and the criticism, because when they see me in real life they want a picture. I never come across any hate. I only see that s**t on my phone, and all I have to do is go back to the home screen and they no longer exist.
You said your album is coming out next year. What’s the status of the BilderBurg Group compilation?
We got a few artists that I’m gonna add to it, so I was just holding off. The BilderBurg compilation is gonna be dope. You’re going to see a lot of artists. I’m giving them the shine and bringing my label to the forefront.
We got Peryon J Kee. He’s my premier artist. We just got his video on MTV Jams a couple of weeks ago. They’ve been playing his single “Comin Down” featuring me. He’s a really talented brother. There’s a few of my little homies you might have seen in The Field.
Is that why you decided to participate in The Field? Do you feel like it’s going to give your artists greater exposure?
That along with letting the masses know Miami is not South Beach. Miami is Miami. The real s**t. Just to shine a light on the dark side of Miami. Not the neon lights and all the dumb ass, f**k ass s**t that y’all see on TV.
You had to know the name BilderBurg Group was going to get conspiracy theorists going crazy. What inspired you to use that particular name for your company?
Because I feel like the Bilderberg Group is higher than the Mafia or any government body. You don’t get no higher than the Bilderberg Group. They run the world, and I look up to them. I was always taught to emulate the great. I think they’re great and I want to emulate them.
You’re in the music industry. For years, especially online, there’s always been this discussion about the Illuminati and its relationship to Hip Hop. What’s your take on that?
The Illuminati don’t write my raps [laughs]. If they did, they need to send me a few hit records right quick so we can get the ball off. The Illuminati… I don’t know. They haven’t had a hand in my success.
I built this s**t from the ground up with MMG the team 10-15 years ago, and we’re here now. We ain’t do no secret ceremonies. To get what we got, we grinded that s**t out.
You’ve been with MMG from the start.
Yeah, before there was MMG there was Triple C’s. I been here before it was rap. I’ve been with my dog [Ross] since I was 15 years old. I just turned 35, so twenty years.
I watched your “Artist Spotlight” with DJ Scream, and you talked about the “Always” track. You made a comment like “there’s always a CEO closing doors” on you. What experiences led you to say that?
I've been in and out of jail since I was 13 years old. I caught my first felony at 13. I’ve been in the system forever. I just did a life sentence two years ago, caught another case a couple of months later. I’m on probation right now. I’m always in jail. I’m trying to get away from it and not glorify it, but they always close the doors on me and tell me lights out.
The “Finals 2” track was a big record for Maybach. But some people were joking that the song may be cursed, because every time Ross releases a track called “Finals” the [Miami] Heat lose in the NBA Finals. Do you think that may need to be the last version of “Finals” for MMG?
[Laughs] I never noticed that. That’s crazy. I don’t know what to say about that. I just like the sound of those records. That’s crazy though.
How do you feel about LeBron going back to Cleveland?
The man is a businessman. He came over here and brought a championship. You can’t be mad at that. What the f**k? Let that man go back to where he’s from and bring a championship over there. That man is getting his money. If they’re offering him a couple more hundreds of millions of dollars over there, I’d leave Miami too - get the f**k on.
Why did you mention 50 Cent on your “Hot N***a” remix?
Because it was a Lloyd Banks’ track first. You know me. I’m bout that s**t. I’m bout that life. I walk what I talk. The line just rhymed, so I said I’ll throw him in there. So what? I ain’t scared of that n***a as you can see. I ain’t scared of him or 9, 15 - however many n***as. I ain’t no scary b***h. I don’t give a f**k about nothing, but some money.
You have a single out called “Krazy.” What’s one of the craziest things you’ve done that the public doesn’t know about?
Aw man, I can’t share that with you. I might go to jail.
What about something that’s not necessarily illegal?
I don’t know. I act so crazy. I've just been chilling lately though, but back in the day I was a wild one - taking five drugs at a time. They called me “Five Drug Minimum.”
So is this the “kinder, gentler” Gunplay now?
Yeah man, I’m tired of going to jail. I’m on probation. I’m just waiting to get this s**t over with, so I can travel the way I want to. I’m mature now. I’m 35 years old. I’ve been there, done that. I saw the world. I know a lot of people in high places, and I want to be popping bottles with them too. But if I keep going to jail, I’m gonna miss my opportunity.
Watch WSHH Presents The Field: Miami documentary below.